My Leadership Practicum  – What is the Legal Health Check-Up?

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For my leadership practicum, I have been given the opportunity in my workplace to facilitate the implementation, management and evaluation of the Legal Health Check-Up. The Legal Health Check-Up was developed in Halton – a region within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Since then, it has been implemented in 12 additional legal clinics (including ours).

The Legal Health Check-Up is a screening tool that is designed to identify various legal issues. The overarching goal of the Legal Health Check-Up is to provide early intervention to clients, instead of intervening at the time of a crisis. The Legal Health Check-Up is just that, a check-up of one’s legal situation. Our hope is that we are having conversations with people when they have lost their job, or are late on rent, and not when they have received a Sheriff’s notice and are being evicted from their home.

The Legal Health Check-Up is best administered with the support of front-line workers in the community. Our organization has partnered with a number of intermediaries who have committed to using this tool in the work that they do. The project is being implemented specifically in Cambridge, Ontario. We chose to focus on Cambridge specifically as it is a small and underserviced community in our region. In the Cambridge community, we have had the pleasure of partnering with a number of organizations ranging from family health teams, neighborhood associations to mental health organizations.

The Legal Health Check-Up was implemented on June 13th, 2016 and will run until October, 2016. At this time, an evaluation report will be developed and the future of the use of the Legal Health Check-Up will be determined based on the outcomes.

If you live in Cambridge, Ontario and wish to take the Legal Health Check-Up, you may do so here – www.legalhealthcheckup.ca. You will also find more information about the check-up on the website.

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